tv British Youth Parliament Debate on Living Wage CSPAN January 2, 2016 7:00pm-7:36pm EST
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jerry is a senior political reporter. >> thank you. >> for the 300 members of the british youth parliament gathered in the house of commons for their annual debate. the students debated five topics that would be considered for their national campaign. debate, theyof the discussed increasing the minimum wage and making it easier to use. this is 35 minutes. >> members of the u.k. youth parliament, we come to the fifth and final debate of the day on the motion everyone should be paid at least the living wage. inmove that motion, i call invite you to welcome from en mcall. ew
[applause] >> over one million people in the u.k. today -- 30% of children live in poverty. aspirations are extinguished daily by financial worries and this isthe families -- our chance today to break the cycle of poverty, to correct injustice and discrimination, to reignite the flame of imagination by extending the living wage to all. some of you may be wondering why we are debating this month's after the government announced plans for a new national living wage. hole inause of a huge these plans in that exclusion of 7.5 million 16-24 year olds, the identified as most likely to be living in poverty.
with rising registration fees, arising homelessness, cuts,oyment, tax credit we are left the most debt advanced rich -- debt advantaged generation. to living wage also presents a course of opportunities. poverty cost the u.k. 29,000 pounds a year. would have enough to responsibly reimburse small businesses with tax breaks, allowing them to keep young people employable. with higher wages, we can ensure the debt is reduced dramatically and education never it comes a luxury. for those who go to work, the same work should have the same pay regardless of age. discrimination is what we stand
up to. in contrast to other campaigns debated today, this one has brought a practical issue that can fully implemented by simple change to law. it already has 2000 participating employers and the backing of the scottish government. it has no age limit whatsoever, something we must ensure a new national living wage reflects. we must remember this campaign can't top all regions -- campaign topped all regions by a landslide and can leave a legacy that prevents -- presents our generations opportunities. we can live in a land where no working family will live in spared, or millions are
the injustice of a childhood tormented by doubt and hunger. where live in a time university doesn't come with a shadow and all hard work is repaid with one fair wage. campaign that final push and get out there and achieve the living wage for all. [applause] >> thank you for addressing us with a crisp and wonderful eloquence in proposing that motion. i think it was hugely appreciated why the house as a whole. the northwest of england will speak in opposition of the motion.
>> eight pounds 25 per hour, the basic cost of living in the u.k. at this moment and it's also the living wage. hand, the national living wage, seven pounds 20 an hour, this is the one introduced in april by the government and as you can see, is nowhere near the basic cost of living in the u.k. between the real living wage and the national living wage is one pound and five pence. this is a problem for us as a youth parliament. the u.k. living wage campaign was launched 14 years ago. 14 years of lobbying local businesses and all they got was a national living wage sure to
2600 pounds every year. 14 years and workers are still being denied a decent standard of living. we don't have 14 years. people to convince pledge even more money for the 16-24-year-old in one year when there isn't enough money to fund a proper living wage in the first place? what about the local corner shop? even with the government attempts to address a living wage, businesses are already planning to raise their prices. if the federation of small businesses are saying a third a small employers expected to negatively impact their business , how are they going to respond to us when we come lobbying them? this cannot be the right time to start trying to convince businesses to invest in young people when they themselves are
struggling to get by. under 25's or to benefit from the national living wage, it took 14 years of hard work to get to this point. 14 years to see a national living wage that will still fall short when it tries to support a family with the cost of living. if you look around, it's not because we don't care or because we are afraid to try. it's because in one year, this campaign will really host the glee -- will realistically not achieve what it once to. -- wants to. to we should focus our efforts on more achievable campaigns. [applause] >> we're going to take a speaker from london. let's take this young woman here. >> thank you, mr. speaker.
i support this motion because i believe in equality and justice and that's what i've been taught the 10 years i have been in school. government refuses to of knowledge this. opposing this notion is saying you agree with the oppression of you and people. today, we must rise up against this oppression. thank you. [applause] >> thank you. let us here again a voice from scotland. yes, the young woman here. thank you. at the moment, we have a national minimum wage. this does not acknowledge the level of income required to have a good standard of living. -- people cannnot survive but they can't live on this wage. they faced social inequalities.
the parliament has campaigned on the living wage. scotland has a campaign that -- theseges this companies that pay a living wage to employees. england does not have this. the living wage is also higher in england and london than it is in other parts of england and scotland. about rule areas where living costs are more expensive? where i live, it cost meet 60 pounds to travel. this is ridiculous. a living wage roaming people can afford a higher cost -- will mean people can afford a higher cost. i support this motion. [applause]
>> northern ireland. who do we have from northern ireland? [laughter] >> practicing high jump for the next olympics. [applause] more than it is now ever time to fight for living willwhere 16-24-year-olds be protected by multiple cuts and tax cuts. eyesgovernment seems in my to have contempt for young if it's notse
student loans come it will be housing benefits. if it's not housing benefits come it will be tax cuts. awayare going to take thousands of pounds from the most hard-working people in this country. 16-24 -- importantly, these young people are trying to get a start in life. yet, they are still suffering under the discriminatory minimum wage. what are we going to do for them ? now these tax credit cuts. i think it's morally reprehensible to cut it these simply to give tax cuts to the rich, to corporations, to the most wealthy in society.
[applause] [cheers] it is vital that we have a high wage, high benefit for the tax isd and the high necessary on the most wealthy economy. [cheers and applause] speech andu for that all of the passion it embodied. let's hear a speaker from yorkshire. who is trying from yorkshire? the young man here. yes. speaker, we are living in the six largest country on earth. minimum wage was introduced, its critics said the economy will collapse and businesses will leave the
country. the economy didn't collapse and businesses didn't leave. we need to take evolutionary and progressive steps. let's take that step no. -- now. let's turn surviving into living. let's move forward. thank you. [applause] >> wales, let's hear a voice from wales. the young woman in the middle. indeed. >> thank you. paris and wales. i was off on saturday afternoon and my hourly rate of pay is three pence 79. my dad pays more to drive me to earn.b than i we cannot ignore the fact far from it being a personal
anecdote i have come to tell you, it's actually the issue that gained the most votes we are here to represent and we have a democratic mandate to support of this issue and i think that is why we should support this issue and make it the issue we need to campaign on. [applause] >> how about the east of england? the gentleman here. thank you, mr. speaker. we have heard some very good argument for minimum wage. i am against this motion. motion for one principle. i think it will have a reverse effect on young people. businesses cannot afford to pay people the living wage. businesses are just recovering from the biggest economic crash in a generation. we now expect them to pay huge amounts of money when they're
not able to. people will lose jobs and be worse off from it. 60,000 jobs will be lost as a result of the new living wage as it is, never mind introducing our new wage recommended. we must also consider at 16, do we need to earn eight pounds 20 an hour? we are in education, we live at home. do we need to support a household which is why we have a living wage? i think we should think about this issue greatly before we wave our boat on this so we can focus on something that affects every single young person we represent like mental health. thank you. no theive me but it's turn of the west midlands. there's a woman shaking a scarf that me. >> thank you.
the idea behind a living wage is can simple, that a person decently and adequately provide for their family. discussed today go hand-in-hand, mental health and living wage. according to the mental health network, men in the lowest household income group were three times more likely to have a common mental disorder than those in the highest income households. what now? we need to make sure this motion goes forward so we can help those working long hours and model for jobs and still live in poverty and those less suffered a mental illness and are trying to change their lives by looking for jobs. thank you. the southeast? this young gentleman share. -- here. >> thank you.
i think we should have a living wage that is paid for those over 16. we are actually behind many other nations when it comes to paying a living wage for these people. leaving aside the problem some , there areents face also many workers who are forced to hold on multiple jobs in order to support their families. think of the impact on our young people nationwide. thank you. >> the southwest? yes. [laughter] i will take the fellow here in the red. let's hear from you. >> someone asked earlier whether 16-year-olds really need a living wage. i just think that is ridiculous.
i know people and i know of people that by no fault of their own or choice of their own live independently of their parents, renting, living off benefits because their work doesn't pay enough. i think that's appalling. it's nonsensical and cruel to single out the most vulnerable of people in society hasenying them a wage that let them simply live. that's why i supported this motion. [applause] midland?bout the east yes. a woman jumping up and down. let's hear from you. so, despite being an amazing
and enthusiastic group of young people, there's only so much we can do. perhaps this campaign is a bit too idealistic and i achieve of the. we've spent an entire year on it already and i haven't seen much of a difference. maybe it's time to focus on something new. if 16 and 17-year-olds were paid the living wage, they would lose the competitive edge and probably wouldn't be employed as much because why would an employer employee 16 or 17-year-old with no experience against a person with lots of experience? only focuses on 16, 17, 18-year-olds. there are a lot of people we represent and we can only represent them through other things. >> from the northwest of england. the northwest of england.
yes. thank you so much. as you may already know, a so-called living wage was announced earlier this year. there numerous problems. cannotaged under 25 receive this living wage. it's easy to imagine people in power climbing younger people aren't enough to aren't a living wage. picture this -- a 24-year-old asleep one night and waking up on the 25th birthday on the magical productivity fairy and now they have an undying edge to work their socks off. concept.ous it's this ridiculousness preventing young people from
getting a wage they deserve. to wake the decision-makers up, take them out of this fantasy come and turn them back to reality. age does not define productivity and this is why everyone should receive a real living wage. [applause] about the northeast of england? you have been jumping up and down for some hours. >> thank you. one talking to my constituents in newcastle, there angered by this age pay gap. the media is constantly talking about the gender pay gap in how ridiculous this is but we need to be recognizing the injustice in the age pay gap. we have a duty to the people we represent to ensure that same pay gets same price.
we need to ensure they are represented. i believe a stronger, more motivated, more efficient world will create a stronger, more efficient economy. know this was emily. now i'm going to embarrass her. i know your dad. your dad and i were at university together. your dad is a very clever bloke. [laughter] [applause] >> we are to take someone now from london, from london. airchap with weak release -- with the curly hair. wage cameow, a living out. that to me is a message the u.k. youth parliament has to wake up and do its job. whatever we did last year was not enough and the young people
are disappointed. the government set the political -- the living wage on the political map and it's up to us to make sure it on the youth politics map. we clearly didn't do it last year and that is what we have to go again to make sure the young people finally get what they want out of a youth parliament they deserve. [applause] >> thank you. who wants to contribute from the west midlands? end wearing the red rose? >> thank you very much. the benefits will be benefited in business, family, society. in business, a study examining the business benefits sound more than 80% of employees believe
the living wage would enhance the quality of work of their staff while absenteeism had followed by 25%. it is also benefiting the family. giveiving wage and helps the opportunity for people to provide for themselves and others. 75% of employees reported an increase in the work of quality. it's also good in society. a living wage was campaign launched in 2001 by parents in east london who are frustrated the working minimum-wage jobs left no time for family. the living wage can be a part of the solution. thank you. [applause] >> what about the northwest? the young woman at the end there.
you're just looking around now. indeed. >> thank you. i want to ask you a question. why are we here today? i believe we are here to improve the lives of young people, not ostracize them. that's what i believe the living wage would do. why do businesses hire young people when they have little to no skills. i apologize. or experience. we are cheaper to employ. raise the living wage, we will be doing more harm than good. it will benefit people in financial difficulty. i know what it's like to not be able to afford to travel to
college or put food on the table that i believe the living wage would push more young people out of jobs. the living wage got the most votes but the young people really understand the consequences or were they just thinking about their own bank accounts? remember who we are here for and what we want to achieve come a better life for all young people and constituents and living wage is not the answer. [applause] >> thank you very much. the east midlands. yes. >> thank you. if we raise the living weight ,or 16 and 17-year-olds eventually, they will get rid of us. food,ill raise prices of rent, mortgages.
this will eventually be back to square one and eventually we will be in this entire crisis again, which i think is wasting our time and week should focus on something more important to all of us. [applause] london.aker from this young woman. we will keep going for a few minutes. >> thank you. unemployment rates are the low was they have ever been primarily due to the fact more people have started to own businesses and have become self-employed. with the rise of more business owners, it has become increasingly difficult for them to pay a national living wage, especially in london. we should encourage them to grow smallpport them, the owners who may not be able to pay the living wage. we should help them.
>> thank you. what about the northeast of england? yes, this young man here. >> thank you, mr. speaker. me find my notes please. be based notatient age.ce, gender, sexuality, skill and experience. anything less is discrimination. we have a responsibility, a duty to serve young people. i can think of no greater service than a fair wage for their skill and experience. thank you. [applause] u.k. yhe years pass, the p is not only getting better in terms of its presentation skills, but better in terms of
the lobbying of the chair. some regions very slightly overrepresented. i need to call someone from the southeast. the southeast is slightly underrepresented. that deficit is about to be corrected by the young woman in the fourth row standing now. mr. speaker, we might have heard what the living wage doesn't affect young people directly and how it would discourage businesses from employ more people but what who aree young people discouraged by minimum wage at the moment? three pounds 78 per hour, this
is bound to discourage more young people from being employed and relying on benefits. through a living wage, we can encourage more young people to go out into the world and embrace it. expanding their experiences and getting the skills they need to enhance their future. this is why you should vote for this motion. i'm sorry we are running out of time. time for another contributor from the southwest. the young woman with the blue hair. >> thank you. . represent bristol living wage is currently a hot pocket. in july, the government will introduce a national living wage. this came as great news. 2.5 million workers will receive a much-needed pay raise. i do agree it's the surest way
out of poverty. is government rate calculated based on needed earnings. the living wage foundation rate is cap related according to the actual cost of living. this is effectively a higher national minimum wage, not the living wage. what about millions not covered by this? why should i be paid less when everything cost me it would if i was over 25? the living wage receives cross party support. wage benefits businesses, families come all society. that's what i believe it should happen next year. sorry because a lot of people come in order to listen to what is said but don't
speak. everybody here wants to speak and i understand that but short of expanding the time available always they, it's case that demand exceeds supply and am sorry to disappoint colleagues waiting to contribute but every debate has to come to an end. they will be a very short opportunity at points of order later. hugehile, let's give a welcome to jessica. [applause] >> thank you, mr. speaker. wage based on the cost of living rather than just an increased minimum wage would be ideal if it would level the playing field for everyone over
the age of 16. we must consider whether or not it's our main priority even if it is commonly relevant to the age bracket of the people we represent. wagee moment, a minimum job will pay 16-year-old under four pounds an hour, half the value of the u.k. living wage. what would that get you these days? a burger? maybe one of your favorite chocolate frogs. but you would have to forget the carrier bag. being asked is do we deserve more or are we just grateful to have a job in the first place? the introduction of a living wage could benefit many. it would aim to reduce the rates of poverty, could ease pressure on government programs, and
could increase motivation and productivity at economic output. however, we must consider the issues surrounding a campaign for the living wage. some employers may struggle to raise their wage bill, which could reduce the number of jobs available. an increase in wage may also increase the cost of living and could actually raise the poverty line higher. we can't expect to stop this immediately. change doesn't happen overnight. but the biggest risk we face is after year,e year campaigning for an even higher wage as the cost of living continues to increase. the government has already announced as of april next year, there will be an increased wage of people over the age of 25. it isn't the living wage we want but it is an increase. is a step in the right